Reports have surfaced that Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta testers are issued a non-disclosure agreement, though most still post FSD Beta videos with issues. It seems Tesla has asked the group of testers to be "selective" with their sharing, which may make sense depending on how you look at it. However, reports suggest that Tesla also tells the drivers that a lot of people want Tesla to fail.
According to a recent report from Electrek, details about the situation were revealed by hardcore Tesla fan and investor Galileo Russell, who's also part of Tesla's early access program, as well as an FSD Beta tester. Electrek points out that Russell said in a video:
“Tesla doesn’t want us sharing all the clips from the videos, just like when it looks good because they know people take it out of context.”
Russell is likely wishing he chose his words more carefully since they seem to have got people talking. As it turns out, according to another recent report from Vice, Tesla does issue a non-disclosure agreement to the FSD Beta testers. It doesn't appear to say that they should limit videos with problems or negativity about the system, but rather, that they should share "responsibly and selectively," share fewer videos, and only share those that are "interesting or worthy of being shared.”
Vice writes via Electrek:
“Motherboard has learned that every FSD Beta tester signs a non-disclosure agreement in order to be a member of the Early Access Program (EAP), a community of Tesla aficionados the company selects. This NDA, the language of which Motherboard confirmed with multiple beta testers, specifically prohibits EAP members from speaking to the media or giving test rides to the media."
The article goes on to share some wording from the agreement it reportedly obtained:
“Do remember that there are a lot of people that want Tesla to fail; Don’t let them mischaracterize your feedback and media posts."
Despite any agreement, we've seen very "successful" FSD Beta videos, as well as very "scary" footage. We though perhaps some of the scary footage would end up being taken down, but that hasn't been the case, at least based on our observations.
Some testers may be overly concerned about sharing videos with problems, not only due to the agreement with Tesla, but also because they're concerned what others on social media may think, say, and do. At the same time, it seems evident that other beta testers share freely and don't really care what others think.
It comes as no surprise that Tesla makes FSD Beta testers sign an agreement. Most companies doing anything similar to this testing would also require a signed agreement. We're also not surprised that Tesla tells the team of testers that there are people who want Tesla to fail, and that people will likely be out to get them – to use their footage on social media to "mischaracterize" the situation. In fact, we've seen it happen on several occasions.
That said, when you share something on social media or YouTube, you'd better assume that people will take things our of context. However, editing videos to assure that nothing that's recorded or spoken could be negative or taken out of context would be almost impossible. It would probably become pretty obvious that the videos were doctored.
In the videos below, our own Tom Moloughney goes for a ride in a Tesla with FSD Beta Version 10. Early on, Kyle Conner was able to drive a beta tester's Tesla on FSD. If Tesla was completely controlling the situation, the owners of these car would likely lose beta access. In addition, if Tesla was issuing takedown requests when videos like this are published, the videos would no longer be accessible. Thus far, neither has been the case.
We're not here to form an opinion or push our opinion on you. Rather, we'd like to start a conversation about this situation and find out what you think. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.